Highlights from an Artsy Weekend at the Villa Émerige

For the 5th edition of Emerige Mécénat’s grant, the Villa Emerige opened its doors to the general public to showcase an eclectic selection of French young artists around a thematic: what lays outside of the art world and its norms.


Until December 2nd, the villa hosted an exhibition named “Outside Our”, where the curator Gaë l Charbau teamed with the gallerist Jérome Poggi. The exhibition explored the boundaries of “traditional” contemporary art as well as art that goes beyond reasoning. Here are some highlights from the exhibition, my favorite ones!



Paul Mignard, Souffre Meurt Renaît, pigments et paillettes sur tissu, 2018



Paul Mignar


Paul Mignar – this year’s winner – aesthetics are reminiscent of Kupka’s spiritual quest and colour explosion. Highly symbolical and full of syncretisms, Mignard doesn’t hesitate when it comes to mixing christianity with celtic forms or ancient medieval emblems. Nevertheless, even if religions meet, the eye senses a harmony between colours as cold ones rarely mix with warm ones, creating a space where every canvas seemingly represents a world or a different state of consciousness. Every painting has its own soul conveying a specific emotion, but the beauty of each one of them lies in its individuality, in the difference of “styles”. I find it difficult to define whether this is abstract or representational art, thus showing Mignard dexterity to play with its spectatorship. Defined as an alchemist, the artist transforms matter into thought while awakening two supposedly opposite sides of the human psyche, logic and primal instinct.



Amandine Guruceaga, Acid Mix Perhamine III & IV, metal, resin, lamb’s skin, 2018


Amandine Guruceaga


What we see it’s not what it is in Guruceaga sculptures. Matter and texture don’t go hand in hand, as what the artist seeks is to question the existing gap between knowledge, what we think as knowledge, and our senses. There’s a difference between raw material and its transformation, and Guruceaga wants to show the stages undergone by a material to have a certain shape. Every piece made by the artist is extremely organic and has a story to tell, despite the flamboyant colours, when we look closely to examine works such as La Déchirure or Acid Mix Pergamine III we can spot the veins of the skin of the lamb with which the sculpture was made. In La Déchirure, the sculpture’s shape evokes an animal or human spine attesting yet again the artist’s closeness with living matter.



Arnaud D. W., Rochers #1, acrylic on canvas, 2018

Arnaud D.W


Arnaud D.W drawings are constituted of geometrical forms hovering in a white canvases, the figures in them appear to levitate in a dreamlike landscape in which there’s no parameters indicating where we’re at. At times black and white or plenty of colours, time is suspended in Arnaud’s work bestowing to this work a peculiar temporality outside of our space. To look at canvases from his series Abysses or Rochers is to take a minute and rest from the ceaseless stream of information that we are fed with every minute; to look at them is to feel empty and in another dimension, one that follows other rhythms and is ethereal. In my obsession to find the perfect music accompanying a work of art, I perfectly imagine Arnaud D. W work with William Basinski Watermusic II, with his clouds and abysses floating and moving aimlessly all over the white surface.


Matthieu Haberard, En face d’un idiot, 2018


Matthieu Haberard


A simple and innocent toy metamorphoses into a weapon in Matthieu Haberard’s work, his lego-like sculptures – although much bigger than a normal toy – are made by hand that recall the Medieval times of melee combat and video games such as Mortal Kombat. There’s an eerie junction between childhood – what’s supposed to be innocent – and war, giving to Haberard’s work a strong and powerful meaning: innocence and war are not as far away as they seem from each other, the junction may be that these two forces, innocence and violence, are both against all logic, both are parenthesis in Western culture. What is born from the hybridization are transformers, sculptures that are ready to fight or pretend to do so. But there is also a “primary” feeling exuding from his work, created and assembled by himself, the artist sacred pieces question mass production and depersonalization in our time.


Outside Our was an attempt to give to the enfants terribles of art a space to be considered with new eyes, street art with the work of Tereza Lochmann or art brut with Haberard, the intention is to bring art to further heights. 



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